Red Bull says it is assessing the Formula 1 options for Alexander Albon in the wake of retaining Sergio Perez for the 2022 season.
Albon joined Formula 1 with Toro Rosso in 2019 and was thrust into Red Bull midway through his rookie campaign as a replacement for Pierre Gasly.
Albon was kept on for 2020 but relinquished his race seat for 2021 after Red Bull opted to sign Perez as Max Verstappen’s team-mate.
Red Bull nonetheless retained Albon as test and reserve driver, lumbering the 25-year-old with extensive simulator duties, and he has represented the company in DTM this year.
Red Bull ended lingering speculation over its 2022 driver line-up on Friday by confirming that Perez will continue to race alongside Verstappen.
Albon’s options to return to the grid elsewhere appear limited, with Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri indicating that it will continue to field Pierre Gasly, while rookie Yuki Tsunoda is expected to stay on.
“Alex still remains an important part of the team,” said Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner.
“He’s played a key role this year, he will continue to play that role, we’re looking at if there’s any options in Formula 1 for him for next year.
“But in the event that he’s not in a race seat he will be performing the same role that he has done for us this year.”
Horner praised Albon for having “done all the heavy lifting early on” in the simulator regarding development of the 2022 car, the RB18, as Formula 1 prepares to welcome overhauled regulations.
“He’s a capable guy, he’s a quick driver and he’s doing a good job in DTM, won his first race, and he’s an important part of our team,” concluded Horner.